Camp Crystal Lake, 1957
Cassandra "Sandy" Dorrett held her backpack tightly, clutching to her mother's skirt. Sandy didn't want to go to camp. She didn't like it. She watched as thousands of kids ran around, talking, playing and rough-housing.
Sandy was eleven. She had curly blonde hair, freckles dotted her rosy cheeks. Huge, horn-rimmed glasses were perched on her upturned nose, covering her green eyes. She wasn't exactly pretty or ugly, mediocre was better way to describe her. She wore Oshkosh overalls and a pink shirt.
Suddenly, it was coming…oh God! She was going to die! She grabbed her throat and gasped for air as her windpipe was cutting off her air! She tugged on her mother's skirt.
"Mommy…" she wheezed.
"Baby, it's OK, stay calm!" her mother said.
She dug through her purse to look for Sandy's inhaler and placed it in her wheezing daughter's mouth.
"Breathe, baby, breathe," she whispered, stroking her hair.
Sandy breathed in the aerosol medication. She could feel her throat opening again and tasted the sweet air entering her lungs. It was hard to have asthma: medication was expensive as well as all those frequent doctor visits.
Her parents didn't have much money, but they weren't necessarily poor. They did the best they could to help Sandy: making sure she had clothes on her back, shoes on her feet, food in her stomach, a roof over her head and a warm bed to sleep in, a decent education, glasses for her terrible vision and medication for her asthma and a good doctor to take care of her ailment. They wanted the best for Sandy.
Her dad worked as a janitor in the local high school. Her mom was a homemaker, but she worked just as hard. She gave piano lessons and worked as a lunch lady from time to time. Though their salaries didn't pay well, they worked hard to make sure they had everything they needed for themselves. They decided to send Sandy to a summer camp in order to get her to be more social.
Sandy wasn't very popular in school. The kids teased her because of her lisp, her huge glasses, and her second-hand clothes. Her clothes were always bought at a Salvation Army or a thrift shop: they were too big on her sometimes or they were dirty or ratty looking. But her mother always said:
"Be thankful for what you have. There are other children who don't have things like you do."
Soon, a male counselor approached Sandy and her parents.
"Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake," said the counselor, smiling. "Is this little Sandy?"
Sandy clutched her mother's skirt tighter, terrified. She didn't like him. He gave off a bad energy. She could feel it.
"Yes," said Mrs. Dorrett. "She's a little shy."
"Hello, Sandy. My name is Dave. I'm one of the counselors. You don't have to be afraid. I'm going to be your friend."
She saw terrible things in his mind: standing outside of windows, watching girls undress, breathing heavy…
"I don't like you," she said bluntly.
Dave laughed as well as her parents.
"Sandy, that wasn't very nice," said her mother. "Apologize to the young man."
"He likes to watch girls undress," she said.
"SANDY!" said her Mr. Dorrett. "I'm so sorry about our daughter."
He always apologized. Sandy was annoyed that nobody believed her 'gift' was real. She could see what people thought and what they did. It started when she was probably five…that time when she playing ball with Liane, her best friend. Soon, Sandy threw the ball too hard and Liane ran out into the street…a car came and struck Liane. The sight of her friend flying in mid-air, her bloody body lying on the street…the driver getting out the car, shocked and tears in his eyes, screaming for help. Sandy knelt in the street, holding Liane's hand. She stared at Liane's green eyes and her red hair.
"Sandy," Liane moaned. "Help me. Don't leave me."
Soon, the pictures came. She saw Liane's childhood in her head and soon it faded to black. The blue and red police lights flashing. Sandy standing there, staring at the whole scene, in silence…
Ever since Liane's death, Sandy saw the pictures in everyone's minds. She told her parents about what happened in the street, but they were convinced that Sandy was merely from the trauma of witnessing her best friend's death. She never told them again.
"Sandy," said Mr. Dorrett. "Apologize right now!"
"I'm sorry," she said, reluctantly, looking down at her feet.
"That's alright, Sandy. So, can we be friends?"
"I guess," she said.
"Good. I'm glad."
"You be a good girl, Sandy," said her mom. "Don't lose your inhaler. If you need another one, just call us."
She nodded. Her parents hugged her and kissed her goodbye. She watched as her parents got into their car and drove away.
"Come on, Sandy," said Dave. "We're going to meet your cabin mates." He touched her arm.
"Don't touch me!" she said, pulling her arm away. "I don't like being touched."
"OK," Dave said, a bit weirded out. There was a large group of pretty girls, talking amongst themselves. There was a female counselor that stood amongst the girls. She was a pretty teenager with blonde hair and big breasts. "Sandy, this is your counselor in charge of your cabin. This is Kelly."
"Hi, Sandy," said Kelly.
Sandy waved hi shyly.
"Oh look, it's Dorkett!" yelled one of the girls in the group. They all laughed.
"Girls!" said Kelly. "Be nice! You all know what it's like to be new at camp." She paused after the girls had settled down. "Alright, girls. Let's bring you to your cabin so you can settle in."
The girls whispered and pointed and giggled at Sandy. She knew what they were talking about because she heard them before they spoke. They entered a cabin and the girls went to find their beds. Sandy was about to settle in a nice little bunk bed with one of the girls.
"Uh-uh, Dorkett," said the leader girl. "You can't sleep here."
Every bed Sandy tried to grab, the girls pushed her away. Sandy found herself sleeping in a tiny, dingy bed that was in the corner. It had tattered sheets and a lumpy pillow. Sandy looked at the bed and placed her backpack on the bed.
"OK, girls," said Kelly. "Time for dinner and then lights out."
Dinner in the mess hall was not too bad. It was chicken, French fries, and green beans. Sandy got her plate and went up to the line. A lady with blonde hair that was pulled under a hairnet put the food on her plate.
"Thank you," she said.
Suddenly, there was a clatter coming from the back.
"JASON! WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU?!" she yelled.
"I'm sorry, mommy," said a little boy's voice. "I didn't mean to."
Sandy went to take a look.
"Move along, young lady," said the lunch lady. "There's nothing to see back there!"
Sandy walked away, startled by the lunch lady's sharp remark. Sandy went to sit with some girls who were in her cabin in hopes to make friends with them.
"No, Dorkett," said the leader of the girls. "No losers allowed."
Sandy went to sit by herself while she listened to all the girls laugh and whisper at her. She ate her dinner, unhappy and lonely. She wished she could go back home and be with her Mom in the kitchen, helping her make dinner for when Dad came home from work.
When dinner was over, Sandy walked back to the cabin. She undressed and got into her pajamas in the bathroom. She brushed her teeth. She heard the girls giggling outside the bathroom door. Sandy went outside and found the girls gathered in a circle, giggling and whispering.
"Nice pajamas, Dorkett," said Denise, the leader. "Where did you get them, the dumpster?"
The girls laughed loudly. Sandy ran away and went to her bed. Maybe the day would go faster if she dreamed it all away. Suddenly, her sleeping bag made a crunching sound. She opened it to find dry leaves, pine cones, sticks and dirt—and something smelled terrible. It was dog shit.
There was more laughter from the girls.
"Does your bed smell like home, Dorkett?" laughed Denise.
Sandy shook her arms to get the sticking shit off her pajamas; the smell was overwhelming that it made her want to vomit. She felt tears welling up in her eyes…it had barely been one day and already it was horrible.
"Aw, poor Dorkett is gonna cry," Denise mocked, making a mocking quivering lower lip face. The girls laughed.
Instead of crying, Sandy got angry. She could feel the heat of her blood boiling inside her and...
"C*&t!" she whispered.
"Excuse me?" said Denise.
"You heard me," Sandy replied angry. "You're a fucking c*&t and so is your mom!"
The girls mouths dropped open by the nerve of this quiet girl who was dressed in shabby clothes. Denise slapped Sandy, her glasses flew off. Sandy was blind without her glasses. She fumbled on the floor looking for them.
"Looking for these?" Denise sneered. Her foot was on her glasses.
"NO! Don't!" Sandy begged.
"Oh? You actually can't see without these?" Denise smirked. "Then, I want you to kiss my shoe."
"You heard me, you fucking loser. Kiss. My. Shoe."
Sandy didn't like this. But she wanted her glasses back. She did it and then Denise kicked her in the face, nearly knocking a tooth loose. Then stomped on her glasses.
"From now on, know your place, you fucking loser," she said, laughing.
Sandy looked at her broken glasses in despondence. She wanted to cry, but she couldn't. Now her parents would have to buy her new glasses...that meant more money being spent...more bills would be passed due...they would be evicted...their services turned off. Sandy hated asking her parents for something.
She ran blindly outside, not caring if she got in trouble. She wanted to die. She went to the edge of the lake...staring blindly out at the water's edge...
The pale creature saw Sandy...it liked her when it saw her at the mess hall. Mommy yelled at him and told him to stay hidden. Mommy told him not to leave at all. It watched as the little girl dropped her glasses on the ground...then collapsed on the shore, crying hard. It was afraid to get close...
"Sandy!" said Kelly the counselor. "What are you doing out here? You know you're not supposed to be out here after lights out."
"I wanna go home," Sandy wept.
"Aw, I know it's hard being away from home, Sandy. But don't worry, you'll make friends in no time."
"No," Sandy replied in despondence. "Nobody likes me."
"Why do you say that? Did the girls tease you?"
She didn't answer, just lowered her head, letting tears fall from her green eyes.
"If the girls bother you again, I want you to come to me..."
"They broke my glasses," Sandy said. "I can't see anything."
"Who did it?"
"Denise did it." She showed her her broken glasses.
"Oh that's too bad, Sandy. Maybe we can call your Mom and Dad...they can get you new ones."
"No," Sandy said. "They can't afford new ones."
"Sandy, I'm sure they're fine with replacing your glasses. It's something you need. Come on, let's go call them now and get you some new glasses."
Sandy looked a bit reluctant. Who knew how long it would take to get her new glasses. She needed them now. She would be completely blind without them. Then her parents would have no money again...all because she wasn't careful.
"No, just forget it," she said. "I hate this fucking place!"
"Sandy, there's no need for that language. Come on, let's get you back to your cabin. We'll call your parents in the morning."
Sandy got up from the lake and they went back to the cabin where she was forced to sleep in her pine and shit smelling bed. The pale creature picked up Sandy's glasses, looking at them...
"JASON!" called Mommy's voice.
The creature ran towards Mommy's voice. It wanted to help Sandy...